The one picture that may save your life in any aftermath
Sixty years ago, a famous illustration put on the same paper the importance of human needs. Maslow’s theory postulates that you must fulfill your lower level before you can move up to the next and touch higher tiers of the pyramid.
I’ve been always fascinated by this theory called the Hierarchy of Human Needs. During last days, I searched and read a lot about prepping, but mainly on basic skills/needs subject. I am telling you, the information out there is overwhelming and not always easy to understand.
Now, after all that info, I gathered some of my experience and mix it with the basic needs from this theory and I came up with my own pyramid version applied to survival prepping. In this post, I will try to give as much details as I can on what I consider a prepper survival pyramid.
This pyramid can be subdivided into 5 key preparedness categories that next preppers and survivalist can focus their efforts.
At the bottom levels of the pyramid are what I consider the main needs—like water, food, oxygen and sleep—that we need to set new steps. As these main needs are met, progressively higher needs can be on the list: safety and protection, minimum hygiene and health protection, all topped by trading abilities and social needs – new small communities.
Water is really important. If you can stay days without food, water can get you in trouble very fast.
You need a lot of water every day and a constant procurement is the best scenario for the long haul. Mainly you have two basic choices for water acquisition and this is how I would start anything.
- set everything near a large or continuous source of water; small lake, salty water anything as long as you can filter water from various sources and in various ways
- you can use a stockpile or build a water generator
For food there is an easier scenario as any skills regarding hunting wild game or gather some fruits can keep you on the go. Very important is that you are not sleep deprived as this allows the brain and vascular system to work. Sleep deprivation can cause you fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness and even weight loss.
All your efforts to keep healthy and alive can go down very fast if you skip few hours of sleep every 24 hours.
What I want to mention is that I placed these needs first as I consider they have the same purpose as you learn from a flight attendant. Place the oxygen mask on you FIRST and than on your kid. You must be able, fit and secured before taking care of others.
You can’t help anyone if you need help yourself.
Eat, sleep and you can think how to protect yourself and plan next steps.
Security, shelter and stockpile
When things are tough there is no use to start thinking too big. You must concentrate and stay stick to primal needs and then do what you can to secure a shelter. A tiny shelter is just perfect until you build a log cabin and protects you if it’s cold or raining.
You will also want to have some basic stockpile like firewood, fruits and water. Ensuring that you have a main place for protection, the backpack and tools is all you need at this level. You can use any solar chargers you may have in case you still have a phone, radio or any electronics that can help you on the go. Actually, a simple thing like a solar flashlight will have it’s main role at this level.
In fact, everything you have with you can be used now as long as they are secured and can be stored safely.
Sanitation and general health
No one wants to think about getting sick or hurt during a survival scenario, but it’s very possible these things happen. You may not be able to prevent an illness or serious injury, but you can deal with them with the minimum preparation.
It’s important if you have a minimum knowledge about alternative medicine and use some of the herbals you find during your journey. It’s very important to stay healthy as any illness can put you down or even kill you. If you have a protective gear when you use tools or build something, use it. Try not to take any unnecessary risks and limit as much as you can meeting wild animals or any dangers at this stage.
Also, make sure you don’t forget how important is water and food to you and be careful not to have any of them contaminated. Both of them can cause you diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders. These are fatal if not treated properly.
Any skill you have to make teas or tinctures will give you a big advantage and this is one of my personal focus. Never have a week without reading or practicing something about edible plants as they will really be your best friend in situations like these.
Economic skills and resources
At this almost last stage you have a shelter and you don’t have problems about food nor water. You use all the equipment and tools you have and build anything that you need and don’t have. I am talking about building traps – both for defense and hunting – a fire pit and maybe a bigger house. It’s now time to improve your condition and make bigger stockpile, plant something or tanning leather.
This level is perfect to prepare yourself for meeting other survivals both for trading goods or simply to build together a new bigger settlement. As long as you have arrived at this level you can increase your travelling distances, build outposts and even signal your presence.
Social needs and new aftermath communities
You may be good alone there or with your family, but as I always say: surviving is about helping others. You will never make it alone, or even if you do, you will miss the chance to rebuild after the SHTF scenario. Other people and new communities are always something you must consider, no matter what is your survival journey. Knowing to grow food or to stitch a wound can help other that don’t know. More people in the same place with more skills can only be a good thing for everybody.
Having these levels from prepper pyramid in mind can guide you all the way when you start preparing. All of the above require skills and you can only achieve them by training, learning and practicing with every occasion. Knowing things about food, water or how to signal and grow some food can sure place you in the top survivalists in any of bad scenarios.
One key point here before all these needs is to stay positive. Maybe it looks silly, but your state of mind can provide you a lot of support in any situation. You can analyze what you are in the middle of, plan your steps and in short will help you survive.
Have any tips you’d like to share? I would love to hear your comments.